(Joe is the Chair of the Helping Hand Committee at Bethlehem Baptist Church)
- Share your testimony. How did God draw you to faith in Christ?
Growing up as a child in a Catholic family taught me the basics of the faith—that I am sinful, that I can be forgiven for my sins, that Christ died for sins, and that I need to live a God-honoring, moral life. It was not until late junior high/high school that I was able to intellectually connect Jesus’ death with my forgiveness. It took we awhile to finally understood that God’s justice demanded a supreme sacrifice to truly atone for my sinfulness, but after much Bible reading and prayer, I was able to more fully comprehend and love Jesus’ sacrifice and the wonder of his resurrection and defeat of sin. I then knew and acknowledged that I had died to sin and was taking on the righteousness of Jesus Christ by faith in him alone by God’s grace alone.
- Tell us about your family. Does your spouse support your involvement as a deacon?
Julie and I have been married for 27 years. She is my constant supporter, helper, and encourager. We have shared the wonderful, challenging task of parenting three girls now aged 12–21, and they are a joy to us and to others. Julie was actually the one who introduced me to the Helping Hand ministry and continues to encourage me in my role.
- Do you agree with the Elder Affirmation of Faith and the Church Covenant?
Yes, and yes.
- When did you start attending Bethlehem?
In 1990. Bethlehem is the first church Julie and I regularly attended after getting married.
- In what areas have you served at Bethlehem?
I’ve served in many areas over the years, including choir, nursery, Children’s Discipleship (Grade 4 Team Leader for two years), BAM committee, and usher. I have been associated with the Helping Hand committee since the mid-90’s and became the chair in the late-90’s.
- Why are you eager to serve as a deacon at Bethlehem? I am proud to be a part of the Helping Hand ministry and to work with great, godly people as we serve Bethlehem members, regular attenders, and neighbors. As much as I give to this ministry, I receive back blessing. Helping the the poor and those who have financial difficulty helps me to see God’s power and to grow and learn in ways that I wouldn’t if I didn’t participate in a ministry like this.